BT, EE & HTC join forces to step up accuracy of 999 call locations

NHS Ambulance

BT, EE and HTC have teamed up to develop a new service designed to make it easier for the source of 999 calls to be identified.

The system is said to be 4,000 times more accurate at locating emergency calls from mobile phones than the one currently used.

Dubbed Advanced Mobile Location (AML), the new geographical location system is able to identify the location of a caller to within a 30 metre radius, as opposed to the several square kilometres emergency services can currently pinpoint casualties within.

John Medland, BT's 999 policy manager, said: "This is a major breakthrough and will undoubtedly help save lives. It is obviously vital for the emergency services to get fast, accurate information so they can pinpoint where an incident is and provide help as quickly as possible.

"AML will help to cut response times, particularly for calls where there is only minimal location information. We're really looking forward to the other mobile networks and manufacturers making this available too, and are working with all UK mobile networks to help this happen."

Around 60 per cent of calls to emergency services in the UK reportedly come from mobile phones, which amounts to 22 million calls per year.

The technology currently used can mean that callers on mobile phones have to be questioned for three additional minutes, needlessly increasing response time. With AML, the location of the phone will be sent via text within as little as 18 seconds.

The AML service is already available for callers on the EE network and those using new HTC handsets, including the HTC One mini 2, HTC One (M8), HTC Desire 610, HTC One and HTC One mini, with the aim to roll it out to other networks and manufacturers in the near future.

Richard Webber, director of communications for the College of Paramedics, added: "We welcome this initiative as it will help save lives across the UK... we also urge other networks and handset providers to follow the lead provided by BT, EE and HTC in order to save more lives."

Caroline Preece

Caroline has been writing about technology for more than a decade, switching between consumer smart home news and reviews and in-depth B2B industry coverage. In addition to her work for IT Pro and Cloud Pro, she has contributed to a number of titles including Expert Reviews, TechRadar, The Week and many more. She is currently the smart home editor across Future Publishing's homes titles.

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